Review of URL Redirect/Shortening Services

Not Recommended Services

Redirect-100: [Redirect100.com]: Gives you two options for redirection. Premium and free. In the free way, two redirect domains are available: url-Site.com and url-Go.com. You can choose the word to display in the URL, and it will create the new URL as a subdomain as well as a directory. Example: "microsoft.url-Site.com" or "url-Go.com/Microsoft"

The negative is it doesn't fully redirect to the destination, but stays in the url-Site domain itself and displays advertisements. It means, if you are providing username and password details, it goes through Redirect-100, which is a highly insecure practice. So, we do not recommend you to use it.

The premium service (which is actually free) lets you create an account and choose more redirect servers. The redirection is not full here as well.

WebAlias [Webalias.com/]: Requires you to create an account with your email address to use this service. This helps you track the URLs you redirect. Also several cool domain names like 'browser.to', 'got.to', 'up.to' etc., are available. But the system is rather messy. And the redirection page loads popup ads. Without redirecting fully to the destination, it stays in the Webalias network with pop-up advertisements (according to your choice of what type of ads to show). This is not recommended.

ShortURL [ShortURL.com]: Gives you a free account to track your redirects. A variety of your domain names is available. For instance, I created the domain, "http://cutewriting.vze.com"
in this system. Other domains like 'alturl.com', 'shorturl.com' etc., are available for you to choose.

The negatives of this service are many: If not paid, it is not instant, you will have to wait 24 hours for someone to manually approve your URL; a thin link bar will be shown on the site at the bottom; and the URL is not fully redirected, but stays in the shortURL domain. So this service is not recommended.

Beam.to [Beam.to]: You need to register an account to use the service. After registration, you need to activate the service from the email you get, and then the URL you chose goes live. However, you have to choose various things like title, description, etc., and the site never goes fully to the target, but stays in Beam.to server. That's too much work for a tiny redirection. Strangely, I didn't find any advertisements. This is not recommended.

XR.com [xr.com]: This service also doesn't fully redirect you to the target, but keeps you in the xr.com domain and displays a top frame with a search box and a link to remove the frame. Also, lets you manage the redirects you create from a user account. Not recommended since it doesn't fully redirect.

Recommended Link Redirection Services

SnipURL [SnipURL.com]: This allows you to create an account to manage your redirects. You can create a redirect within a few seconds and that will completely redirect you to the target domain.

You can create an easy user account and with it, you can manage all your redirects. From your manage Snips page, you can track the clicks of the URL you create. This is a great way to track your redirects. You can use this for advertisement sales on your site, charging for each visit. SnipURL is an ad-free complete redirect service, and so it is highly recommended.

There is also a service called interesting snips, which include the best and most interesting URLs from the daily snip pool.

TinyURL.com [Tinyurl.com]: This is an easy and very famous way of creating redirect URL. You can choose the redirect name. There is no advertisement as in snipURL and it is too easy to create a redirect URL. TinyURL is recommended.

Notlong : This service has become a malicious website. Use it no longer.

Metamark [Metamark.net]: Just like snipURL, this is a free service without ads. It redirects users from the domain, xlr.us, so a new URL will look like "http://xlr.us/thenamechosen". It's a full redirect without any advertisements. Recommended.

ClickAudit.com [Clickaudit.com]:[Update: This service will shut down soon] With an account here, you will be able to track redirection, clicks, and also campaign costs. This is a very good way for selling advertisements on your site. You just create a ClickAudit redirection for your advertiser's link, and put a value in the campaign cost (per click) and choose PPC (Pay Per Click). CA will create reports as to how much you should charge your advertiser. You can share the reports with advertiser—a very straightforward way to track your ads. The service doesn't incorporate any advertisements and is a full redirect.

Conclusion

Make sure you steer clear of the not recommended redirection services. The main disadvantage of them is they do not redirect you to the destination. Take the example in which you go to a redirect URL of gmail.com. The URL will look like xr.com/gmail01. After loading the page, if you provide your Gmail username and password, it goes through the XR domain. Which means, XR instantly gets access to your email credentials. Hence, this is highly insecure to use any of the non-recommended services above.

Copyright © Lenin Nair 2008

2 Opinions:

  1. twitter users may love http://zi.ma/ It has an easy "tweet this" widget which posts a link directly to twitter. Click tracking and statistics come free.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jesvin, thanks for the comment. zima is a very good service indeed.

    ReplyDelete

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